Points West

Congratulations to the Winners !!

Rod Cook and Toast – Best Band Winner

Brian Butler – Lee Oskar Blues Harmonica Winner


Kenny Boss Wayne Duo Winner



Summer 2021 

With the uncertainty the COVID19 pandemic has presented all of us, the Washington Blues Society in partnership with the Cascade Blues Association, South Sound Blues Association, Inland Empire Blues Society, White Rock Blues Society, Fraser Valley Blues Society, Victoria Blues Society, Edmonton Blues Society, Boise Blues Society, Flathead Blues Society have decided to hold a Virtual Blues Showdown!

This event is open to all bands and solo/duos from the states of Washington, Oregon, Idaho, and Montana and the provinces of British Columbia and Alberta. We are requiring membership in one of the above Blues Societies listed above, which will be verified with each society through their leadership team.

In the spirit of the Blues Foundation’s International Blues Challenge we will follow their rules. All acts will have to select either a band or a solo/duo entry, you can not enter both.

The videos must be shot with a single static camera view from center stage house view (The Judges Perspective), with no editing or special effects, and must be a continuous video with no stops and starts. Videos should be a minimum of 23 minutes, if short of this time metric acts will have one (1) point deducted from their score. Videos should be a maximum of 25 minutes in length, if over this metric there will be one (1) point deducted for each ten seconds over the time limit.  The time period starts with the first sound! This includes any introductions or other vocal opening. And ends with the last sound! This includes any closing remarks. Opening or closing remarks are not penalties and should be worked into your set. A big part of stage management and set planning.

This is a “Blues” challenge and music should be from this genre. We recognize the definition of “Blues” is wide and this will be taken into consideration with all sets. We highly encourage original compositions; however, covers are okay. All covers need to be introduced before starting them and include the songwriter, year released, and if needed who made it a hit.

All entries must be received by the Washington Blues Society by July 1.., 2021 via email at president@wablues.org, or snail mail at Washington Blues Society, PO Box 70604, Seattle, WA 98127. There will be an entry fee of $15.00 USD, which will be used for production expenses of producing this event. All videos must be received by July 15st, 2021.


2 options – upload the video to your own Youtube page as a private video and send me the link. or share the file via dropbox to : rick.bowen@gmail.com — or via google docs or we transfer —-and we will up load to the WBS You tube page :

We are compiling a number of prizes, and other opportunities for all whom enter this event! So far, we have secured a Harmonica Award sponsored by Lee Oskar Harmonicas, to be awarded to best harmonica player from all entrants. Working on Guitar Award to be awarded to best guitar player from all entrants. We have secured 20 hours of studio recording time, and are working on expanding this for both bands and solo/duos. We have secured paid gigs at Sunbanks Music Festival and are in discussions of multiple other festival events. As we add more, we will be posting them online at our website www.wablues.org, and our Facebook page; Washington Blues Society. All of this information and additional items will also be shared with our partners to share on their pages and websites.

Judging will be conducted as per the Blues Foundation’s guidelines and this information can be found at https://blues.org/official-ibc-rules/

Scoring Categories and Definitions:

  • Blues Content: The sound and feel of the music should be true to any of blues sub-categories: traditional blues, country blues, soul blues, blues rock and/or contemporary blues. Judges will be listening for inspired and original song selections or new takes on blues standards. Creative reach is encouraged.
  • Originality: Original work is encouraged. Cover tunes are allowed but playing the recorded rendition lick by lick is discouraged, will not be looked upon favorably by the judges, and will be reflected in scoring.
    Acts must indicate if their songs are their own original material (this can be done at the start of the set or before each song as appropriate) and/or identify the covers that they are playing and acknowledge the originator.
  • Vocals: The act’s vocal skills to include concepts of tone, musicality, meaning, and expression.
  • Instrumental Talent: Ability level on all instruments featured within the act.
  • Stage Presence: The ability to command the attention of the audience by the impressiveness of one’s manner and appearance on stage. Judges will consider how an act connects with and engages the audience in the music. Proper use of microphones and amplification will be considered.

Judges will score acts on a 10 point scale, with 10 points being the highest score received and 1 point being the lowest. The following weights will be used in calculating final scores:

  • Raw scores for Blues Content will be multiplied by four
  • Raw scores for Originality will be multiplied by three
  • Raw scores for Talent and for Vocals will be multiplied by two
  • Raw scores for Stage Presence will be multiplied by two

The maximum Total Weighted Score an act may receive is 130.

Penalty Points:

An act will be penalized one point from its Total Weighted Score for each of the following:

  • Failing to acknowledge that a song is a cover and/or not giving credit to its originator
  • Each ten seconds that it runs overtime during a competition performance. video 23 -25 minutes
  • Finishing 3 or more minutes before its allotted performance time expires.

    1. Each judge will indicate his or her Raw Score, between 1 and 10, in each category and turn that information over to the Scorekeeper using the following scale:
    • 1-3 – Typical of a beginning blues band
    • 4-5 – Typical of a local weekend band
    • 6-7 – Typical of an advanced local band but not yet ready to headline a major blues club
    • 8-9 – Typical of the quality of blues artists who headline major clubs
    • 10 – Typical of those who play the main stage at major festivals2.

Judges will be from outside of the Greater Pacific Northwest and will have connections with the Blues Foundation.

TO DOWNLOAD the ENTRY FORM CLICK HERE : https://wablues.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/POINTS-WEST-VIRTUAL-BLUES-SHOWDOWN-ENTRY.pdf

Questions send to (president@wablues.org) or (vicepres@wablues.org)

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